BCS: Radiological Tests Little Use in Detecting Breast Mets

Bone scan, liver ultrasound, chest x-ray little value in staging evaluation of primary breast cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Bone scan, liver ultrasound, and chest radiograph are of little value in staging evaluations of patients with primary breast cancer, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Sept. 13 to 15 in San Francisco.

Stuart-Allison Moffat Staley, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducted a literature review and included eight relevant articles with the primary outcome of detection rates. False-positive and false-negative rates were also reviewed.

The author found that detection rates for bone scan according to stage were: 1.29 percent for Stage I; 3.09 percent for Stage II; 2.43 percent for Stage I and II; and 12.5 percent for Stage III. For liver ultrasound, detection rates were: 0.47 percent for Stage I; 1.00 percent for Stage II; 0.82 percent for Stage I and II; and 4.20 percent for Stage III. Rates for chest radiograph were: 0 percent for Stage I; 0.42 percent for Stage II; 0.51 percent for Stage I and II; and 4.57 percent for Stage III.

"Our literature analysis suggests that these three tests are of little use in screening women for metastases, and likely result in a lot of false negatives in early-stage disease," Staley said in a statement. "A full picture would require a head-to-head comparison of these radiological tests with more sensitive imaging, such as computed tomography or positron emission tomography."

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